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Thread: Slide-in vs. free-standing ranges?

  1. #1
    New Romantic
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    Slide-in vs. free-standing ranges?

    I currently have an all-gas slide in range that I want to replace with a double-oven dual-fuel model, however the one I want doesn't come in a slide-in variety.

    There's a lot of vague information about the differences between the two. I know that a slide-in has front or top mounted controls whereas a free-standing has rear-mounted vertical controls, and that a free-standing has finished sides, but what I can't figure out is when/if you can replace a slide-in with a free-standing range? Anyone know?

  2. #2
    Screaming Willies lead singer New Romantic
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    Check the power and fuel connections as well as the dimensions (duh)... if everything fits you'll likely just spend more than you otherwise would for a slide-in due to the extra finishing on the free-stander.

  3. #3
    New Romantic
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    So I went ahead and did this, and one downside is that the controls on the back of the free-standing range interfere with getting a lot of pots on the range. With the slide-in I could easily have four pots going, right now I'm limited to only two pots on a 5 burner stove since I lose over 3 inches at the back.

    Love the stove, but that was an unforeseen downside.

  4. #4
    Social Worker KaoFloppy's Avatar
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    You're gonna hate cleaning those controls at the back as well, because you have to lean way over to scrub them.

  5. #5
    New Romantic
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    I'm intrigued by this thread but I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about...could you provide some picture links or something?

    Are you saying that your stove has five burners but you can only put two pots on at a time? How is this even possible?

  6. #6
    Spinning Toe
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    hrm. it appears i have what would be referred to as a free-standing range (in that it has finished sides and a control console on the back). but my control console only handles the oven and timer functions. my burner knobs are still on the front.

    do you feel like you can only use two pots because you don't like to reach over the pots to get to the control knobs? or are the knobs totally inaccessible due to being covered by the pots? maybe you could just use smaller pots on the back burners? or take back the stove you got and get one with knobs in the front?

    my parents have a stove with burner controls on the back console and, honestly, i've never had a problem with it, but i don't do much cooking there. but this is certainly something i would not have considered but now will when it is time to get a new stove. thanks.

  7. #7
    New Romantic
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    My knobs are on the back, but I don't have any trouble putting four pots on all four burners if I want. Then again, I have an electric with a ceramic top.

  8. #8
    New Romantic
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    My knobs are actually mounted on the cooktop on the side. Between the side mounted knobs and the back of the range like this:



    The next effect is that surface area is diminished. Very large pans can't go in back because they bump against the rear controls. Pots that are side-by-side crowd each other. It's annoying as hell.

  9. #9
    Spinning Toe
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    that looks like an amazingly stupid design for a stove.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by beecubed
    that looks like an amazingly stupid design for a stove.
    Well, pick your poison. Front mounted controls and lose the second oven and let little kids grab them? Rear mounted controls and scald yourself trying to adjust the flames? There's no real perfect design.

  11. #11
    Dingus Social Worker Christien Murawski's Avatar
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    I've never seen a two oven design like that. What are you going to use the top oven for? Where is the broiler? I'm intrigued.

    It would help at Thanksgiving. I cook the turkey using Alton Brown's "Good Eats Roast Turkey" method, which means that once the turkey is in there for its 350 degree phase, nobody better open that oven door or I'm gonna hit them with a wooden spoon. So all the other stuff that has to be done in the oven has to be done in advance. This setup would help with that. But what else do you use it for?

    I do like the way this setup moves the controls from the front of the unit, mainly because my two year old can now reach the controls and that is unnerving. But I have to say, I could not get many of the meals I cook done if I could only use two burners at a time. That would drive me fucking crazy!

    I hope you revisit this thread from time to time, recounting how you're managing this.

    "Our apartment was so small, that mother made me play in the oven."

    -Amanpour

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by XtienMurawski
    I've never seen a two oven design like that. What are you going to use the top oven for? Where is the broiler? I'm intrigued.
    We got it for two reasons -- the dual oven and the dual fuel (gas cooktop and electric oven), best of both worlds. The smaller oven contains the broiler, and can act as a mediocre toaster oven as well. The main oven we haven't even used yet since the top oven is perfect for roasting veggies, broiling steak, etc. The main oven also has these neat half-racks so you can stack casseroles next to a big roast or something.

    The top oven also preheats twice as fast as the main oven.

    I do like the way this setup moves the controls from the front of the unit, mainly because my two year old can now reach the controls and that is unnerving.
    Yep, but you end losing space.

    We love the oven, but the burner space issue is a significant one. You cannot get this oven in a slide-in configuration since front-mounted controls would take up just enough space to disallow a second oven.

    Next house we'll do it "right" -- separate cook top and dual wall mount ovens. Ironically, that's exactly what we had with our last house.

  13. #13
    Neo Acoustic
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    If you're springing for dual fuel, make sure you're getting a convection oven as well. Most dual fuel ovens are convection, but some makers do make separate models and typically the price difference isn't all that much since dual fuel already inflates the price. Last year we got all new kitchen appliances and I got a Kitchen aid convection range (not a dual fuel though). It's really worth it, especially for roasting.

    While I got it for the convection oven, the best part actually was a 15,000 btw power burner for using a wok (the cooktop even had a built in bracket for a round bottomed wok which was a nice touch). While 15k is still minimal for woking it makes a huge difference over the standard 10-12k burners. I wasn't much of an asian cook before, but since the new range had the wok burner I went out and got a wok and the book "wok fast" and ever since I've been using the wok more than any other pans (which is funny since I spent $20 on a 14" carbon steel wok that I use 4-5 times a week and I spent a few hundred on a set of good sauté pans that I now use maybe once a week). I'll even make non-asian food in the wok. I make chicken or pork quesadillas about once a week and I'll use the wok to cook up the meat since it's just so fast and easy. So, if you see an option for a high power burner it's totally worth it even if you don't think you'll use it.

    Mmmm, just writing about this is making me long to cook dinner, which tonight is Cajun pork quesadillas with basil-chervil guacamole. I'm going to cut up some pork tenderloin in nice small pieces, put no more than a tablespoon of olive oil combined with a bunch of Cajun spices into a bowl and mix the pork around in to it lightly coat the meat in oil and spices. Then I'm going to slice up some portabellas nice and thin and sauté them with diced garlic in a little butter and oil until soft (in the bottom of my wok to get that garlic flavor going in it). Once they are done I'll pull them out and get the wok up to around 500 degrees and then throw the meat in for a minute to cook up real nice (note, when searing or stir frying meat covered in hot spices make sure not to breathe in the smoke and steam coming off, it can be caustic). Once all that is done I'll heat up a large skillet or griddle and set up the tortillas with some cheese, meat, mushrooms and garlic and while they toast up it's time to make some guacamole. Just two avocadoes, juice of one line, a diced tomato, (no onions, the wife doesn’t like the onions), and since we don’t have any cilantro in our herb garden I throw in some basil and chervil which actually works out really well in the guacamole, especially once combined with the Cajun pork. This recipe started as a "well, what do we have in the house" meal but the combination turned out so good we make it every week.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrag
    While I got it for the convection oven, the best part actually was a 15,000 btw power burner for using a wok (the cooktop even had a built in bracket for a round bottomed wok which was a nice touch).
    My Jenn-Air has 18K BTU baby!

    For what it's worth, if I ever decide to get seroius about wok cooking again, I'm not going to fuck around get an induction wok. Next house I'll have induction wok built into the counter tops...

  15. #15
    Neo Acoustic
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood
    My Jenn-Air has 18K BTU baby!
    Okay, now I'm envious.

    There's an awesome Vietnamese place here called the Slanted Door. They have a location downtown in the SF shopping center that has windows overlooking the chefs as they work. They've got those big industrial wok burners that are like a 12" diameter ring to set the wok on with multiple burners inside that go to something like 30,000 BTU. I keep telling the wife that the next time we do something in the kitchen I'm having one of those installed next to the range.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrag
    I keep telling the wife that the next time we do something in the kitchen I'm having one of those installed next to the range.
    Overkill and dangerous. Seriously man, induction wok, wave of the futuree:

    http://www.kitchencontraptions.com/archives/004640.php

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood
    Overkill and dangerous. Seriously man, induction wok, wave of the futuree:

    http://www.kitchencontraptions.com/archives/004640.php
    Those are definitely cool, and certainly more practical, but there's something so appealing about real fire ;)

    In all reality I would go with something like that. But it's fun to think about the big dedicated wok burners.

    Edit: Whoa, I was reading the product site and found this: Retail Price is US $3500. Still cool though.

  18. #18
    Social Worker KaoFloppy's Avatar
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    Bacon: 18000 BTU and the knobs are NEXT TO THE BURNERS!?! Won't they melt off?

    Thrag: 30000 BTU...I believe those restaurant wok burners have a floor stepper control, sort of a "turbo" button....oh shoot, never mind; I was thinking of those super scary burners I've seen in Singapore hawker center stalls.

  19. #19
    Neo Acoustic
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaoFloppy
    Thrag: 30000 BTU...I believe those restaurant wok burners have a floor stepper control, sort of a "turbo" button....oh shoot, never mind; I was thinking of those super scary burners I've seen in Singapore hawker center stalls.
    I like the idea of the "turbo" button, though I'm sure that's just recklessly dangerous for the home cook.

    The 30,000 was a posteriorly produced number. I don't know what those restaurant burners run. All I know is I want even more fire so I can the same nice stir-fry sear effect on my shaking beef or moo kra tiem that the restaurants get (without having to cook in multiple batches so the wok doesn't cool down too much).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrag
    I like the idea of the "turbo" button, though I'm sure that's just recklessly dangerous for the home cook.
    .
    Dude, try 125K BTU for the wok-jet burners (even 160K available). They're not much less expensive than an induction, and I seriously doubt they work better, and they have the disadvantage of not being legal (AFAIK) for home use.

    But if you must have one:

    http://www.selectappliance.com/exec/...duct/ar_arcr-2

    And the portable 14" 1800W induction wok is < $1000:

    http://www.mingspantry.com/comsooncookm.html

  21. #21
    Neo Acoustic
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    It's all just foolish dreaming. We just replaced all our appliances so we're hopefully done with the kitchen for a while. I'll be happy with my comparatively meek "powerburner" for a while. ;)

    Though in all seriousness if my company goes public anytime soon or some similar windfall occurs I'll be all over that first model built in induction range you linked.
    Last edited by Thrag; 03-07-2007 at 08:23 PM.

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